You Can’t Make a Silk Purse Out Of A Sow’s Ear

Man cannot transform himself into a holy being. As my Irish grandmother would say,“You can’t make a silk purse out of a sow’s ear.”In other words, only Christ can transform us into His image and draw us into the heart of His Father.

Atendance at Mass, regular confession, spiritual exercises, fasting, and prayer are wonderful vehicles of grace but if we think pious activities will sanctify us, we will only appear to be holy on the outside like the Pharisees:

Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, you hypocrites. You are like whitewashed tombs, which appear beautiful on the outside, but inside are full of dead men’s bones and every kind of filth.(Matthew 23:27)

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Joy to the World! Dance with Joy!

joy to the world

Dance with joy!


Joy is different from happiness. Many people equate the two incorrectly. Happiness is fleeting; joy is lasting. Where joy has no “conditions,” happiness does have “conditions.” I’ll be happy if…where we place conditions on what makes us happy. Do you hear those words, “we” and “us” in that last sentence? We define happiness in this life, and we easily can disappoint ourselves; especially when the criterion for happiness is left up to us to decide upon. Many think that riches and fame will bring happiness; but that is not necessarily true. We search for happiness in vain, … Read more…

Faith + Humour = 36 Years of Marriage

The Gift of Suffering

Surprisingly, one of the keys to the longevity of our marriage is suffering.

Suffering was a gift which unified us because it stripped away false pride and forced us to our knees in prayer. Honest prayer led both of us to self-knowledge, humility and compassion for  each other.

When I asked a priest what my life would have been like if I had not suffered, if I had married a well-off dentist, had 1.25 kids and lived in an efficient, modern house, he put on a phony, pious face, put his hands together in prayer, and said in a high, mocking voice,

”Oh, you would be a nice Christian lady, praising the Lord.”

What he meant by that amusing bit of acting was I would be shallow, without depth and strength. Well, when I see the results of a bit of suffering in our marriage, I say bring it on.

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Joy IS Prayer

As a Christian, living in the Mystical Body off Christ, I can choose to live in the joy of the Lord or stay in my misery, isolated from the Spirit of God who dwells within.48415f3c975f160c12e9f1d231c0906b

When I live in my head, I live in a prison of whirling thoughts cut off from others and God.

If I go deeper into my being and live in my human emotions, in pain or in self-manufactured “happiness”, I end up stuck as a victim of others and in my sinful, independent self.

However, if I allow God to draw me even deeper into my core, united to Him, joy springs up automatically.

Now I exist in a state of effortless prayer connected to God. Living in my spirit , as a child of God, I am in my true self.  

This joy is the  contagious Presence of the Holy Spirit, blessing others with a taste of the Father’s love.


Receiving Christmas Joy – Guest Blog by Father Paul Buchanan

As a Christmas present from me to you, I offer you a homily about receiving Christmas Joy, written by a very good friend of mine, Father Paul Buchanan, who gave the following homily on Christmas day last year to parishioners at my church. At the time, Father Paul was a Transitional Deacon. He has since been ordained to the priesthood on June 28, 2014, and now serves at Saint Matthew Church, in Charlotte, NC.

Receiving Christmas Joy

Joy to the world! The Lord is come. We all know the line from the carol. But why do we rejoice on Christmas day? It’s not just “because God became a man” – although that is a wondrous thing, and an awesome thing… but it can also be an abstract thing. Something that makes us joyful, …Read More

Secret Cynics

Advent is a time of waiting. But how do I wait?

Do I wait stoically or with joy? Do I wait like a child, a child who trusts that his daddy will keep His promises or has life’s disappointments left me jaded and closed off to any spiritual surprises? Come to think of it, how many of us actually expect to receive any joy on Christmas morning? When we are secretly cynical, we will not receive a thing, not a crumb of Light because we lock the door to our hearts. Then, we will cement our cynicism in place for another year.
As we wait, secretly longing for the dark, empty places within us to be flooded with His light, we should look to our children to teach us how to wait for the Christ Child to be born anew in our hearts. They trust and believe the words of both their earthly and heavenly Fathers. Think of a young child, eyes twinkling, barely able to sit still and contain his excitement because he knows that his dad will never give him a stone instead of a loaf of bread. continue here

Melanie Jean Juneau is wife and mother of nine children. The very existence of a joyful mother of nine children seems to confound people. Her writing is humorous and heart-warming; thoughtful and thought provoking with a strong current of spirituality running through it. Part of her call and her witness is to write the truth about children, family, marriage and the sacredness of life.She blogs at joy of nine9 and mother of nine9 

Choose Joy and Be Happy

Choose joy and be happy this Christmas season. How so, when all around you there is violence, pain and strife? It is really not that difficult, because attitude is everything! If you are the type of person who counts your blessings, rather than focus on what’s wrong with life, then you are more inclined to experience Christ’s joy within you. This is the time of year when we usually take the time to reflect on the past twelve months and count our blessings. Let me share with you, the ones I find most important, that I think we can all be grateful for: Read more…

Joy Defined – Joy Awaits You

Are you searching for true joy? Has joy been missing from your life, or that of a loved one?

Joy is both a virtue and a fruit of the Holy Spirit. It provides an experience of happiness parallel to nothing else; a sense of deep contentment and satisfaction.

Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI shared his thoughts on this virtue in his 2012 address at World Youth day, where he stated, Read more…